Saturday, March 24 , 2018, 9:26 pm | Fair 56º


CSU Channel Islands Announces Major in Global Studies

CSUCI professors coordinated to bring a global studies major to the campus, which they hope will be instrumental in preparing students for a global work environment after college. Click to view larger
CSUCI professors coordinated to bring a global studies major to the campus, which they hope will be instrumental in preparing students for a global work environment after college. (CSUCI photo)

More sophisticated trade, travel, social media and telecommunications are just some of the reasons the world is shrinking. To help meet the needs of those who will work in this global environment, CSU Channel Islands is offering a new baccalaureate degree in global studies.

“We’re really focusing on the skills students need in the society we live in,” said Professor of Political Science Andrea Grove, Ph.D. “No matter what job our students have, they will need to be globally competent.”

Students who are already enrolled in CSUCI can now declare global studies as their major, but the program won’t officially roll out until Fall 2016, and it won’t show up on the CSU online application system until Spring of 2017.

“Those admitted for Spring of 2016 or Fall of 2016 will have the option of declaring Global Studies as a major once they’re admitted and matriculated,” said CSUCI Associate Provost Dan Wakelee, Ph.D. “It won’t be a choice during the admission process until Spring of 2017.”

Professor of Spanish Terry Ballman, Ph.D., started the global studies program minor. A few years later, Professor of Spanish and Program Chair Antonio Jiménez Jiménez, Ph.D. began working to add a global studies major.
This fall, Jiménez-Jiménez, Grove and several other faculty members and administrators were successful at getting the major approved through the CSU Office of the Chancellor.

The new major will start with classes such as introduction to global studies and branch out into upper division study that will include such courses as politics of developing countries; intercultural conversations; world drama and theatre or globalization and development, to name just a few.

The major will also require study abroad through one of the University’s three options: short-term faculty-led study abroad course, semester-long programs through one of our exchange universities or year-long experiences with the CSU International Programs Office.

Two years of a foreign language will also be required. 

“When you are learning a language, you are not just learning the grammar and how to put words together,” Jiménez-Jiménez said. “Language is always connected to the culture. It is impossible to learn a language without learning the culture.”

Grove said she hopes courses of study like this one help us all to take tolerance of another culture one step further.

“We don’t want to learn to just tolerate people,” she said. “We want to learn to actually appreciate other cultures and understand how people in different cultures think and interact.”

Wakelee said the major is designed with core courses and more than the usual number of electives so students can carry it as half of a double major. 

Students who graduate with a major in global studies have a number of career paths that could involve anything from the United Nations to U.S. politics to non-governmental agencies that work with other countries Grove said.

The major will also help students looking for opportunities with large local companies, Jiménez-Jiménez said.

“We have a lot of global companies in Ventura County who would be very attracted to students with a global perspective,” Jiménez-Jiménez said.

There will be an official launch party for the major on the CSUCI campus in April, with the UC Santa Barbara Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, Mark Juergensmeyer, as the guest speaker. 

Kim Gregory is a communications specialist at CSU Channel Islands.

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